Ask vs Importune - What's the difference?

ask | importune | Related terms |

Ask is a related term of importune.

As a noun ask

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As a verb importune is




Etymology 1

From (etyl) asken, from (etyl) .


(en verb)
  • To request (information, or an answer to a question).
  • I asked her age.
  • To put forward (a question) to be answered.
  • to ask a question
  • To interrogate or enquire of (a person).
  • I'm going to ask this lady for directions.
  • * Bible, John ix. 21
  • He is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.
  • To request or petition; usually with for .
  • to ask for a second helping at dinner
    to ask for help with homework
  • * Bible, Matthew vii. 7
  • Ask , and it shall be given you.
  • To require, demand, claim, or expect, whether by way of remuneration or return, or as a matter of necessity.
  • What price are you asking for the house?
  • * Addison
  • An exigence of state asks a much longer time to conduct a design to maturity.
  • To invite.
  • Don't ask them to the wedding.
  • To publish in church for marriage; said of both the banns and the persons.
  • (Fuller)
  • (figuratively) To take (a person's situation) as an example.
  • *
  • Usage notes
    * This is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive . See * Pronouncing ask as /æks/ is a common example of metathesis and a feature of some varieties of English, notably African American Vernacular English (AAVE). * The action expressed by the verb ask'' can also be expressed by the noun-verb combination ''pose a question'' (confer the parallel in German between ''fragen'' and ''eine Frage stellen ).
    Derived terms
    * ask after * ask around * ask for * ask in * ask out * ask over * ask round * for the asking * no questions asked * outask


    (en noun)
  • An act or instance of asking.
  • * 2005 , Laura Fredricks, The ask :
  • To ask for a gift is a privilege, a wonderful expression of commitment to and ownership of the organization. Getting a yes to an ask can be a rush, but asking for the gift can and should be just as rewarding.
  • Something asked or asked for; a request.
  • * 2008 , Doug Fields, Duffy Robbins, Speaking to Teenagers :
  • Communication researchers call this the foot-in-the-door syndrome. Essentially it's based on the observation that people who respond positively to a small “ask'” are more likely to respond to a bigger “' ask ” later on.
  • An asking price.
  • Etymology 2

    From (etyl) aske, arske, from (etyl) .

    Alternative forms



    (en noun)
  • An eft; newt.
  • * 1876 , S. Smiles, Scottish Naturalist :
  • He looked at the beast. It was not an eel. It was very like an ask .
  • A lizard.
  • Statistics





  • To bother, trouble, irritate.
  • * , II.17:
  • To deliberate, be it but in slight matters, doth importune me.
  • To harass with persistent requests.
  • * 1610 , , act 2 scene 1
  • You were kneel'd to, and importun'd otherwise / By all of us;.
  • * Jonathan Swift
  • Their ministers and residents here have perpetually importuned the court with unreasonable demands.
  • To approach to offer one's services as a prostitute, or otherwise make improper proposals.
  • (obsolete) To import; to signify.
  • * Spenser
  • It importunes death.


    (en adjective)
  • (obsolete) Grievous, severe, exacting.
  • * 1590 , Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene ,
  • And therewithall he fiercely at him flew, / And with importune outrage him assayld [...].
  • (obsolete) inopportune; unseasonable
  • (obsolete) troublesome; vexatious; persistent
  • * Spenser
  • And their importune fates all satisfied.
  • * Francis Bacon
  • Of all other affections it [envy] is the most importune and continual.